Here Come the Lawyers

Both sides have lawyered up for Election Day. More than 10,000 lawyers representing the Republican and Democratic parties and assorted interest groups will fan out across the country attempting to protect the rights of voters.

And the Department of Justice has deployed hundreds of lawyers to serve as "monitors" responsible for ensuring that everyone who is eligible can vote. To put the 10,000 number in perspective, that is more than the number of lawyers at the top four law firms in the country combined.

The Democrats alone have more than 7,000 lawyers fanningĀ out all across the United States -- that's more than the number of lawyers at the two largest law firms in the country.

Here is a breakdown of lawyers already standing guard across the country, according to ABC News reporting and collected media sources.

Democrats

This past weekend, hundreds of those 7,000 lawyers boarded planes for Arizona, Florida, Maryland, Missouri, Ohio and 13 other states. Most of the lawyers are in-state volunteers.

Democratic allies will have thousands more lawyers at the polls. The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the NAACP and the People for the American Way Foundation will collectively add another 2,000 lawyers to monitor the vote, according to The New York Times.

The New York-based Democratic Lawyers Council is deploying 400 to 500 attorneys statewide to monitor the polls for problems. These lawyers are looking specifically for evidence of voter intimidation.

Republicans

Republicans claim they are focusing on getting out the vote and that unlike the Democrats, they will use housewives, truck drivers, teachers, and yes, some lawyers -- but far fewer than the Democrats will have -- to monitor the polls.

Some Republicans say on background that an estimated of 1,000 lawyers will be on hand around the country, which would make the Republican election lawyers the 16th largest law firm in the country.

The Republican National Committee is also shipping out 150 lawyers to help hundreds of local lawyers in Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Tennessee and other states policing against voter fraud.

The Republicans acknowledge that in Missouri they will have "hundreds" of poll monitors who will look very closely at Kansas City and St. Louis, where incidents of fraudulent registration and indictments have sprung up in the past.

And The Associated Press reports that in New York, GOP lawyers filed last-minute challenges to nearly 6,000 registered voters Friday, raising the specter of police visits to voters' homes in a race critical to controlling the state Senate.

The Justice Department

The Justice Department will send 800 lawyers to more than 65 cities and counties in approximately 20 states to monitor the elections, they also have set up a Web site and toll-free phone number for citizens to file complaints.

According to Rick Hasen, a professor of law at Loyola Law School, however, it may not be election litigation that holds up final winner announcements Tuesday night. With an estimated 30 percent of Americans (more than 20 million people) voting early or by absentee ballot before the polls open, it could even be counting the votes that leave us without definitive winners by Wednesday morning.

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